Top IRS Official Said Agency Targeted Conservative Groups Based on 'Guilt By Association'

Documents reveal the IRS knew about abuses of conservative groups before it was exposed

November 16, 2016

A top IRS official admitted that conservative groups were targeted based on "guilt by association " and "party affiliation," according to newly obtained documents from the government watchdog group Judicial Watch.

Included in the documents were handwritten notes taken around August 2011, two years before the Treasury Inspector General first revealed that the IRS was targeting conservative groups based on words such as "patriot" and "tea party."

The notes revealed concerns that the IRS office in Cincinnati was targeting groups based on ideology and party affiliation.

"They think they know what the org is really doing, rather than looking at actual activities," wrote Holly Paz, former IRS director of the Office of Rulings and Agreements. "Q's were not activity based, but guilt by association questions – like q's asking party affiliations."

"Agents felt if they could ask enough questions, they will find a problem" Paz wrote. "Agents were jumping to negative conclusions and assumptions – particularly where relationship with political groups or affiliations."

Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, said President-elect Donald Trump should investigate the agency.

"This further confirms the IRS knew about abuses years before they were exposed," FItton said. "President Trump needs to reopen the criminal investigation of the IRS as soon as he is sworn into office."

Published under: IRS